Day Trips: Responsible Daytripping
The wildflowers can wait
Bluebonnet season is raging across the Hill Country, laying down a carpet of roadside beauty, and we’re confined to our homes and neighborhoods. Gasoline prices are at an all-time low and our cars sit in the driveway covered in wormlike oak pollen all because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
I want to get in my car, drive around the Highland Lakes, and come home. Isn’t the confines of my four-wheeled pod as isolating as my living room? The problem is, while you’re out you’ll need to:
• Stop to get gas
• Stop to use the restroom
• Stop to take pictures
And, heaven forbid, you have car trouble or an accident that requires someone else to break the stay-at-home mandate, too.
While a day trip around the backroads might improve your mental health, it goes against the statewide ban on nonessential travel.
The Texas Department of State Health Services replied to my email asking for clarification with a very succinct reply: “DSHS advises to stay home and only make trips for essential items such as food and medication.” Williamson County was a bit more forceful in their reply: “The activity you describe is not considered essential in the county’s Stay Home Stay Safe order.” The county order, which is pretty similar to orders from other counties and cities, clearly states in Section 7: “All travel … except Essential Travel and Essential Activities as defined in Section 10 is prohibited.”
While a little daytripping might not seem like much to ask, it may not be good for other people. Stay at home; it’s the right thing to do.
“No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.” – Stanislaw Jerzy Lec
1,494th in a series. Find virtual day trips and travel advisories in “Day Trips & Beyond,” a travel blog, at austinchronicle.com/daily/travel.